DOVO Best Quality Straight Razor Review (AKA DOVO Nr. 100)
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Wet shaving is an exciting experience. But before it is so, there’s the issue of getting the best straight razor for your needs. In your research, you’ve probably come across the DOVO Nr 100 Best Quality (Also known as the Dovo 100581 or Dovo Best Quality) and many other straight razors from Dovo and other brands claiming they’ll offer the best experience. While you can TRUST these claims, ALWAYS VERIFY.
This piece takes you through all you need to know about the Dovo 100581 – both the good and the bad. With this information, you can decide if it’s the best straight razor for your needs.
Dovo presents itself as a premium brand and has the price tag and quality to go with it. However, it’s a little disappointing to find that their razors, including the DOVO Nr. 100, come in a small cardboard box. But on the bright side, the finishing on the packaging is a little better than on other razors like the Dovo Bismarck. The gold sticker provides a beautiful contrast to the black packaging. The sticker also doubles as a seal which is quite creative of the Dovo designers.
The packaging contains a Dovo Solingen instruction manual and the DOVO straight razor wrapped in plastic paper. Though the package is simple, it does a good job of protecting the razor when shipping.
Unlike other Dovo straight razors I’ve used, the DOVO NR 100 Best Quality doesn’t have a chrome finish and an outstanding 24k gold logo on the face. Instead, it has an oxidized finish and a laser-etched ‘Solingen Best Quality’ logo on the face. The Dovo branding is also on both sides of the tang.
Speaking of the tang, we also noted that it’s ribbed on the bottom and top; you can hold it firmly and control it well with soapy or wet fingers. Within the scale, the straight razor has a small stabilizer which the razor from closing deeply, thus offering enduring spacing.
Overall, the design isn’t fancy, but it seems to get the work done (more on this in other sections). As a beginner, this is just what you need.
Dovo makes this straight razor with carbon steel (1.2210), also known as Silver steel or Swedish steel. The carbon steel has a 61 HRC hardness level. To achieve this hardness level, Dovo heats it to 1000 degrees Celsius and quenches it with special oil. The tempering at 200 degrees Celsius gives the blade its toughness and elasticity.
In everyday use, you’ll notice that carbon steel is easier to strop and also retains the sharp edge for longer. These properties make it an even better choice for beginners to straight razor shaving. That’s why this razor is often included in Dovo straight razor starter kits. On the downside, carbon steel is vulnerable to oxidation; hence it rusts easily. Compared to other beginner straight razors like the DOVO Inox, you need to take precautions with the Dovo Best Quality to ensure it lasts longer.
For instance, ensure you dry the razor completely after every use and store it in a dry and cool place. It also helps to apply a thin coat of petroleum jelly or camellia oil on the blade. Yes, the Dovo Best Quality has a protective coating, but it’s not enough in the long run.
The Dovo Nr. 100 has a 5/8 inch blade. This blade size makes it an all-around straight razor. It’s popular in beginner straight razors and does a great job when trimming the contours and delivering a gentle shave. With the weight of the blade, the razor can easily glide into hard-to-reach spots for a cleaner shave.
Generally, straight razors come with three grind options: flat, full hollow, and half hollow grinds. The flat grind is more of a wedge; hence it’s rigid and has high torsion resistance. It was common in traditional straight razors, but today not so much since they don’t allow for technical possibilities.
Half-ground blades are more flexible than flat ground blades and usually vibrate when shaving.
Finally, full hollow grind straight razors are the most flexible and adapt best to skin imperfections. As such, it’s not a shock that Dovo opted for this grind on the Dovo Best Quality.
It’s worth noting that the full-hollow grind construction can be less forgiving for beginners still learning wet shaving techniques.
Please note that the DOVO Best Quality straight razor series is available in 3 different versions.
- The one we have talked about here – 5/8 – Full Hollow grind
- Then it is also available as 5/8 – Half Hollow grind
- And last as 6/8 – Full Hollow grind
As a beginner straight razor, Dovo went with the round point. This design is common in traditional razors since it carries less risk of causing injury. So even when you fumble with this in hand, it’ll be a little more forgiving.
The handle on the Dovo Best Quality is made from PMMA – a thermoplastic. Dovo takes the material through a complicated polishing process that gives the handle a beautiful shine that improves the straight razor’s appearance. It’s worth noting that thermoplastic, unlike wooden handles, doesn’t require special care. On the contrary, cleaning is a matter of wiping off dirt and soap residue with a damp cloth.
Moreover, the scales are tight, which helps with the wet shaving learning process since it always stays in place.
Unfortunately, some users have complained about the scales saying that it’s the weak point of this efficient straight razor. The thing is the scales break easily when you apply a lot of pressure. To preserve the scales, you should:
- Not open it more than ’10 past 10’ angle. While you can open other Dovo razors wider than this, on the Dovo Best Quality opening it is wider than this the tang will push on the insides of the scales and break them.
- Not squeeze on the outside of the pivot pin. Beginners always make this mistake when stropping which leads to the scales breaking. Instead, hold the tang.
- Don’t apply solvents like rubbing alcohol, mineral spirits, firearm lubricants, and silicone spray lubricant to the Dovo Best Quality as they’ll break the scale. The best alternatives are mineral oil and hair oil.
Dovo markets the Dovo Best Quality as shave-ready, which is quite exciting for beginners who believe they can use it immediately after unboxing. While this is true, you’ll only get one (utmost two) passes.
By shave-ready, Dovo means they’ve done some ‘sharpening’ on the edge before dispatch. So while the razor might be sharp, you’ll need to strop it before use. If this is your first straight razor and you don’t want to spring for a straight blade razor kit, you should get a strop along with your Dovo Best Quality.
For a good wet shaving experience, strop your razor before you shave and hone it after every two months. If you aren’t adept with honing stones, you can get a professional to do it. Alternatively, you can learn how to do it and purchase a set of whetstones.